Located just outside the village of Gigondas, near the base of the Dentelles de Montmirail, Les Florets is a charming hotel and restaurant that has a terrific terrace that features a stunning view looking north, down the valley towards the village. Run by the incredibly hospitable Bernard family, with Jean-Pierre Minery being the chef since 2012, the food is classic Provençale inspired dishes, and the wine list is loaded with Rhônes, all at more than reasonable prices. On this evening, a bottle of Andre Perret's 2012 Condrieu Coteaux du Chery was the perfect foil for a Cucumber Soup and a terrific dish of Langoustine and Spring Vegetables. It's unfortunate that Condrieu is so expensive in the US, as it's a perfect wine to start a meal (and I order my fair share when I'm in France.) In addition, its aromatics, freshness and beautiful texture allow it pair with a number of different dishes. This bottle was singing and offered up knockout nectarine, citrus blossom and distinct minerality in its full-bodied, yet ultra-precise profile. To go with a perfectly prepared Côte de Veau and a following cheese course, I ordered a bottle of Michel Ogier's (who's estate is now firmly under the helm of his son, Stéphane) 2009 Côte Rôtie. Coming from a mix of terroirs, it gave up classic black raspberry, tapenade and spice aromas and flavors, as well as a full-bodied, supple and forward feel on the palate. It's classic Côte Rôtie to drink over the coming decade, and it was a perfect cap to the evening. Note, this restaurant is at a higher elevation than the village of Gigondas, and can be notably cooler, even in the summer months. If you prefer to dine outside (and I highly recommend it), make sure you bring a jacket.
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